Many bemoan the cancellation of Dead Like Me. Watching the 15 shows that made up the last season in a short time allows the viewer to see why the show did not make it ratings wise. The premise of this show was excellent: An 18 year old girl joins a team of reapers after her rather weird death and goes around collecting souls. The problem is the show never really moved far beyond its premise.
Perhaps George, Mason, Rube, Daisy and Roxy are interesting characters but they do not really evolve. Ellen Muth is a pretty decent actress but seems to feel pouting and moping are the two emotions she plays best so she does a lot of that. The other characters, a thirties movie star, a sixties rock star, an older guy who is the boss, and a black woman, also never seem to move far beyond what they were first set out as characters. After a while, you quickly get the show: The reapers sit around inside a diner, Rube passes out assignments, the reapers try to fulfill their duties and encounter a problem or two, and they all meet back at the diner.
What is missing from this show is either more darkness or more comedy. George’s existential or post-existential angst gets tiring after a while and you keep wanting to scream “Get a life already!” The moments that could have made for great dark comedy are missed and the moments that could have made for really dark humour and toned down to a nice, safe level. Episodes that sound promising on the DVD jacket, such as when the reapers go to a kid’s birthday party, a rock concert, or meet a guy who wants to attend his own funeral never really rise above the summary itself. Even the Halloween episode itself, the one show you would think the writers would be at their most creative, simply consists in the reapers touching a serial killer’s victims before he gets to them. That’s it that’s all there is to it. Strangely enough though, if you have the box set you kind of want to keep it around and maybe watch an episode now and then.
Dead Like Me was not a bad show at all. It just did not live up to its premise.
MGM has released season two of Dead Like Me with great care. The packaging is excellent with 4 slim cases in a box. The graphics for each slim case and each DVD is different and the DVD graphics match that of the inside sleeve.
Extras include a Dead Like Me . . . Again and Putting Life Into Death, two short features, 10 minutes of deleted scenes, and a photo gallery.
Send In The Clown
The Shallow End
Rites Of Passage
The Escape Artist
Be Still My Heart
Ashes to Ashes
Forget Me Not